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the vatican today as tens of thousands crowded st. peter's square for one of pope benedict xvi final public appearances. the pope will set step down 11 days from now, setting in motion the search for a new leader and maybe a new direction for the catholic church. nbc's anne thompson is at the vatican tonight with more. anne? >> reporter: good evening, lester. tonight, the pope is on a week-long lenten retreat inside the vatican with the days of his papacy numbered. now, every public appearance of benedict's is a must-see event. for more than 50,000 people, this was the only place to be, a global villageful the faithful and curious in st. peter's square to say thank you and good-bye to pope benedict xvi. >> as soon as he resigned, i knew i definitely wanted to come and witness it. >> reporter: 20-year-old thaddius howard of georgia brought an american flag. >> i wanted to let the pope know that he is supported by all of us from america. >> reporter: in six different languages, benedict addressed the crowd. >> thank you for the prayers and support you have shown me. >> reporter:? german, he s
. >>> this was a bittersweet day at the vatican as pope benedict xvi made his final sunday appearance as the church faced new allegations of wrongdoing. nbc's anne thompson is at the vatican for us again tonight. anne, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. today's events, you can see both the strengths and weaknesses of the catholic church, the exuberant energy and faith in the massive crowd gathered here, and the new charges of abuse that continue to haunt this institution. today, the world came to st. peter's square for pope benedict's final sunday blessing. part pep rally. part prayer service. just being in the crowd of 1,000 was a learning experience for these american students. >> that the faith has no national boundaries and political interests. >> reporter: the object of their affection and gratitude, the 85-year-old pontiff. he told the crowd he is not abandoning the church but answering god's call to more prayer and meditation, more appropriate for his age and strength. yet even in this joyful square, the scandals that marked his papacy were on the minds of some. >> i think he has done an
. >>> as pope benedict prepares to say farewell at the end of the month there is talk of yet another break from church tradition. the church usually observes a 15 to 20-day waiting period following a papal vacancy to give cardinals time to travel to rome. but church officials now say the process could be moved up possibly in time for a new pope to be chosen before holy week begins on march 24th. back home the flu epidemic that has been ravaging much of the country is finally showing some signs of letting up but experts warn it is far from over. the cdc's latest report says whilt numb while the number of patients admitted for flu-like symptoms has been leveling out the elderly are still being hit hard. when nbc nightly news continues on this saturday why more and more women are deciding they need to be armed. we'll meet some of them as we continue our special series on guns in america. and later, a different prescription for healing. take a little music from these guys and call me in the morning. ♪ i'm lorenzo. i work for 47 different companies. well, technically i work for one. that company,
Search Results 0 to 3 of about 4 (some duplicates have been removed)